One thing to know about me, I love to travel. More than that, I love to travel and share what I experienced with others to help them travel too. In the military life, we can see more of the world than most whether that be through PCSing, TDYs, or just planning a trip. We are very lucky in that way. Our most recent adventure was through a TDY my husband was sent on to Offutt AFB just outside of Omaha, Nebraska. Let me tell you, Omaha is COOL and even better, it is a drivable location from Minot AFB. Meaning it’s an easy family getaway that you can take from here. We were there for a week, and I was able to explore the area with my son and I want to share what we did and learned through our time there to help anyone looking to see some place new!
The drive to Omaha from Minot is just over ten hours. Because we were there for a TDY, we stayed in a hotel in Bellevue which is a small town on the outskirts of the city. A thing to know, if your family is heading to Offutt for a similar situation, staying in Bellevue is perfect for exploring the city as well. The average drive I took to attractions was about 15-20 minutes.
The number one location I have for families to stop in is the Henry Doorly Zoo. I have never seen a zoo like this before. It had so many animals and exhibits to see. We spent two days in the zoo and still did not see everything. The key things to know going to the zoo:
- They offer a military discount for admission. For this, do not buy your tickets ahead of time online. Go to the zoo and walk into their customer service office to buy them. If you want to go back a second day, bring your ticket back with you and the second day will be half off.
- Bring bathing suits and water shoes. The zoo has a splash pad that is open on the weekends but even better, they have a man-made stream and waterfall that kids can play and explore in. This is hidden in their Children’s Adventure Trails.
Another must see for families is the Omaha Children’s Museum. This place is well worth the admission price. They offer various exhibits to lead your child to imaginative play, science experiments, and play. It was such a fun day spent with all sorts of activities to get us out of the hotel. Tips and tricks:
- There is a lunch café upstairs with the children favorites of chicken fingers and mac and cheese on the menu. However, this location is close to the famous Old Market area in Omaha which offers a variety of foods with much better pricing. You can leave the museum, go enjoy lunch and come back if your hand is stamped!
- The upstairs area is a seasonal display, while we were there, they had a full dinosaur exhibit with robotic dinosaurs, and a fossil dig sand pit. With that, they also have a train ride and carousel.
While in Nebraska, you must get yourself a nice steak dinner – it is what they are known for! And allow yourself to explore the various parts of the city. There’s castles, botanical gardens, museums and more.